We all view our past in different ways. Some look at it with regret, while others see it as an opportunity for change. Dwelling on our past mistakes and letting those mistakes control us and affect our outlook on life is not healthy. We must learn to let go and move on with our lives as better, stronger individuals. Most of the time, this is easier said than done.
In order to let go of our past we must put our trust in God that we can learn from our past mistakes and there will be something better waiting for us in the future. When we let thoughts of our past consume us and the worries and anxiety of what the future holds to completely overwhelm our minds, we lose that trust and faith in God.
I looked up the words “trust” and “faith” and discovered that trust means, “reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence”. Faith is defined as, “confidence or trust in a person or thing.” In scripture, faith is defined as “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). I also looked up the word “doubt” and found that it was defined as, “to be uncertain about; consider questionable or unlikely; hesitate to believe.” When we make the choice to continue living in the past and pondering over all of our mistakes and failures, we start doubting that God can change us and make us into something better.
Paul, an apostle of Jesus, is by far my favorite character in the Bible. Think about his past. Paul was a Christian martyr, killing innocent people just because they believed in God. He later experienced a close encounter with God, which completely transformed his life. No longer was Paul a murderer of innocent Christians, but he became one himself. He devoted his time and energy to spreading God’s word and teaching others about Jesus. He was persecuted because of his beliefs, but that did not stop him from carrying out God’s plan.
Paul could have looked back on all that he had done and let the guilt from his past keep him from becoming a great disciple of Jesus Christ, but he didn’t. When writing to the church in Ephesus Paul says, “I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence” (Ephesians 3:7-12).
The next time you decide to focus your attention on your past, shift your focus to God and what He has planned for your life. Put full confidence that He will make you a better person. Learn from your mistakes, but never doubt what God can do with you now. I can guarantee His plans will be better than what you have for yourself.